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Training Treats(10 Posts)
Could do with a bit of advice re training treats please. We're hoping to have our rescue dog home in the next month or so as we've now passed the homecheck, so I'm busy researching the last few things I want to know about.
I've read 'The Cmplete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training', which has been brill but am not sure what size treats to use for training! I've found the receipe for Liver Cake (sounds lovely ) and know that cheese and sausage etc are often good high value treats.
But what size portion should I use? The book talks about using 60 or so treats to charge the clicker and then little baggies of treats per training session - I could do with a bit of guidance on treat size before our dog ends up with a pound of cheddar per training session
I use chicken cut up into 1cm cubes. Works a treat :-) or you can use kibble bits but take treats out of daily food allowance so they don't end up over fed
I charge the clicker using their actual meal (it's a bit messy due to the food I use but they are worth it) I chop it up into about 30 pieces.
Now the clicker is charged breakfast time is an actual training session.
Puppy - learns I am giver of food not a food threat - I prepare his food then give him an empty bowl, obviously this makes him look at me (normally in confusion) and I throw food into his empty bowl.
Whippy is still learning down, although we throw a few sits in there too to break it up for her. On the brightside, she can now be lured slowly into a down. A few more
years- weeks and we might be able to add a cue, she's 'only' been learning down for a month <sigh>
Devil Dog - is currently learning 'down-stay' from an increased distance and 'beg' or 'Meerkat' as the kids like to term it.
For training treats I used dried cheese bites from the pet shop in the house and actual cheese or hotdogs outside. I chop them into 0.5cm squares and use as many as I need, but keep an eye on their weight. I cut down their meals when we are doing a lot of training. I keep an eye open for cheap deals on meats etc. that are about to go off and use those too.
I bought the wainwrights treats from Pets at home (in a blue bag) & broke them up into smaller pieces.
A dig trainer said, doesnt matter the size, it's the impact of getting a treat.
We've had the same bag for about 6 mths now ! Have to say I rarely use then as she sits/down/paw for her chicken wing or tripe stick, so they are her reward.
I cut things much smaller than cm chunks, about a quarter of that in fact - it does mean more time cutting, but the smaller you can get things the less you have to worry about how much you're giving and I mix it with his dry food as well.
I have labs so they'll work for anything - we tend to use their kibble with the occasional "nice" treat thrown in - they love liver cake. It's not much fun to make though!
My SIL's dog will do anything for a piece of carrot.
Mine works his tail off for popcorn. I can even break it up if feeling really stingy. Otherwise his normal kibble unless we're doing something hard and new.
Thanks folks, that's given me a much better idea.
So, for a couple of short (5 - 10 mins) training sessions a day, roughly how many treats would you use in each?
I think I'll start off with treats being in addition to normal food, but can then adjust depending on how dog settles and whether he needs to gain or maintain weight (and depending on what turns out to be his high value treat of choice).
How soon should I start 'formal' training? Will he need some time to settle in, or can I start pretty much the next day? If we get the dog we're hoping for, he apparently loves to learn so I think he'll be quite keen on training. I'll also be looking to sign up to some weekly obedience classes too - he knows some basic commands but will need to continue working on his loose lead walking and building his repertoire.
Throw away your dogs bowl - that is your first formal training season. Start training from day one.
Get a clicker - click the clicker and give him a bit of his meal. Do this for his meals each day. Start to lure for sits etc click and treat.
Use his own food for training and you will very soon have a well trained happy dog. You can and may find mixing in yummy treats eg cheese or chicken (do not waste money on special dog treats they are full of rubbish and way too much money - your dog will much prefer cheap lidl hotdogs or cheese)is good when working on distractions so when out and about.
Cut the hot dog in half and then slice into small treats.
Have a look at the wonderful kikopup videos on YouTube. She's a brilliant trainer and you'll see how often she clicks and treats. Will give you an idea of the pace. Some good ones there on getting started. Keep sessions short five mins three times a day is better than fifteen all in one go.
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